Three Rivers Roping has something for everyone


A little rain in the forecast isn’t going to stop the cowboys and cowgirls from rolling into town this weekend. Now a lot of rain, there’s protocol for that.

But let’s stay on the sunny side. The Lions Team Roping, held every year in Three Rivers since 1950, isn’t going to change what works. This year will be much like the last with traditional roping events and thousands of teams competing for top prizes including the coveted Yellowhair buckles.

Circle N Stables of Tulare provides the stock and oversees the organization of the arena events. Mike Sweeney is the familiar voice that will give the play-by-play of the four days of action.

Sunday is Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls day, so if you’ve never seen a Suicide Drag or any other trick-riding, it’s time to hightail it to Lions Arena. Be there about noon because that’s when Chad Nicholson, professional rodeo announcer, carves time out of his busiest season to announce Riata’s brilliant show(wo)manship. 

Take time during the event to do a little shopping. The Lions Club can outfit anyone from head to toe in commemorative Three Rivers Team Roping apparel. Accessorize the outfit with bling from Lady Luck, then top it off with everything necessary to westernize from house to horse with items from Ropes Galore, a longtime Roping vendor.

Come for breakfast and stay all day because the Lions Club volunteers in the Cook Shack will ensure that nobody goes hungry. Breakfast burritos and biscuits-and-gravy, anyone? 

Probably not the best thing to chow down on just before riding and roping, but for everyone else, it will sustain the appetite until the barbecue meals come off the grill. Wash all this grub down at the saloon, where there will also be sodas and bottled water.

And it’s okay to snack between meals because it’s for a good cause. Three Rivers School’s seventh grade will be selling popcorn and ice cream that raises funds for the students’ eighth-grade class trip to San Francisco. This is as traditional as the Roping itself. 

These kids and their parents will also be watching over the bounce house. And there are lots of other activities for the youngsters, including the Pig Scramble that is scheduled for Sunday.

Admission to the Roping is $2 per person or $5 per carload, whichever is less. Because the local Lions are just generous that way!

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